Steele, Richard – A Discourse Concerning Old-age

A discourage to people concerning the problems and concerns of old age.

The epistle to the readers

Friendly readers,
You have here a plain discourse concerning old-age. The design of it is to instruct, to warn, and to comfort the weaker sort of aged people, among whom I must place myself. The wiser and stronger may find divers things upon this subject collected here together, which they know and practice better than I. But that which put me upon this attempt, was,

1. Some years experience of old-age in myself.

2. More leisure time, by reason of my bodily infirmities, and other restraints than I could have desired.

3. An observation, that there was no full treatise in our tongue upon this point.

4. And lastly, an sincere desire to be some way useful in the world. These were the true occasions of this treatise. Whatever in it tastes of the cask — impute that to my weakness; whatever is worthy — ascribe it only to God’s goodness. I know it is full of imperfections, but when the principle, matter, and end of an action are honest, candid people will interpret the rest in the best sense. Such ancient and modern authors, I could meet with, as have written upon this subject, I have perused, and digested their observations in their places. But the Scriptures here produced are my great vouchers, and which I do most earnestly recommend to the readers, for they are worthy the highest regard. That the Lord would enable me and you to frame our old-age according to these instructions, is the earnest prayer of,
Your servant for Jesus sake,
Richard Steele, May 10, 1688

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